Singer Erykah Badu is finally getting some love after, an interview earlier this week after she received a slew of negative comments for refusing to dial back her praise for alleged anti-Semite Minister Louis Farrakhan and Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler.
“I’m not an anti-Semitic person,” Badu said, addressing her previous defense of the Nation of Islam founder. ” … I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.”
The R&B crooner’s initial comments came during a 2008 interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where she defended Farrakhan against allegations that he was anti-Semitic. The minister has also been heavily denounced by the likes of Rep Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and the Jewish-run Anti-Defamation League in the past. The former was a previous supporter of Farrakhan but was also forced to retract his words to move his political career forward.
Badu’s comments were rehashed during a recent interview with Vulture where she didn’t back down from her defense of Farrakhan, a move the minister seemingly acknowledged with a tweet on Thursday.
When God calls upon you to introduce a revolutionary concept, or idea, that takes the struggle to a new level, then you have to bear the burden of the opposition.
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) January 26, 2018
“When God calls upon you to introduce a new revolutionary concept, or idea, that takes the struggle to a new level, then you have to bear the burden of the opposition,” he wrote.
Badu has since tried to clarify her controversial comments, sharing a series of posts to her Twitter page late Thursday. In one of her tweets, the “Tyrone” singer said she understood how “my ‘good’ intent was misconstrued as ‘bad'” after she used “1 of the worst examples possible” to make her point.
“Voicing honest opinions (even if they are meant to be loving) in such a sensitive world where most of us are victims of some violent past is very dangerous,” she tweeted in a follow–up post. ” … Even encouraging words can be misinterpreted when taken out of context … protect one another.”
However, some critics have argued that the songstress was bullied into changing her favorable opinion of the NOI leader.
“Goo for her” one user wrote. “Don’t be bullied into an apology if you don’t mean it. I don’t care for Farrakhan, but he has a right to express himself and I in turn ignore him.”
“I admire Ms. Badu for remaining true to her beliefs,” another wrote. “It’s just sad to live in a country who say’s one thing but practice another. Freedom of speech, when she exercised her’s she was black balled for it. This country practices double standards, say what we want to hear or suffer the consequences.”
Moreover, critics highlighted the fact that Black political figures and entertainers are often forced to distance themselves from people like Farrakhan. Earlier this week, the Congressional Black Caucus was accused of trying to bury a 2005 picture of then-Senator Barack Obama and Minister Farrakhan. Photojournalist Askia Muhammad told Trice Edney News Wire he believes the photo “absolutely would have made a difference” in the 2008 presidential election, had the CBC not pressured him to keep it under wraps.
“White folks don’t have to denounce Donald Trump, David Duke and neo-Nazis,” one Facebook user wrote, coming to Badu’s defense. “But they expect Black folks to denounce Farrakhan, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, etc…”
Farrakhan has yet to address the singer’s comments directly.